Video Game Demo Review: Unepic by Francisco Téllez de Meneses
Daniel decides to take a leak in the middle of a RPG session. Mid-relief, the lights go out. Lighting his Zippo, Daniel finds the toilet gone… along with the whole bathroom! In the bathroom’s place is a dark corridor of what looks to be a medieval castle, traps and monsters all around. Hallucination? Perhaps it was the beer. Well, Daniel should wake-up from this soon enough…maybe. Perhaps you should help him take a look around the castle?
And so begins the Unepic demo!
Francisco Téllez de Meneses spent the past two years making Unepic, a game which he calls, “a mixture of platform game, role game, and joke that takes place in a huge castle of medieval fantasy.” IndieGames.com says that the demo was launched to coincide with the launch of the official game’s site.
From the main screen you can already see Castlevania‘s heavy influence (Unepic’s main influence appears to be Konami’s The Maze of Galious, but I’ve never played that), and the rest of the game follows suit. Daniel plays a lot like the old Simon Belmont: jumps are committed (once you jump you can’t course correct mid-air), attacks are committed (you stay still when you execute an attack), and he even reels back when hit.
Every new room explored gets registered to a navigation map. Defeating enemies earns experience for leveling, allowing you to allocate points to stats of your choice. There are several classes of weapons, each with pros, cons, and enemy suitability. Items can be consumed, sold, equipped, or used for crafting. Even the save rooms feel very Castlevania-like.
Castlevania influence aside, three things stand out; the first being the amount of polish put into the game. Presentation is sleek, the art being detailed, animation smooth, and even sporting a form of dynamic lighting. You can tell a lot of effort was put into getting the aesthetics to look the way it does in this demo.
Second is the inventory system. Swapping weapons and activating items to fit a given situation is simple. Unepic knows it’s a PC game and made good use of the F-keys and number keys to easily classify and bind access to generous amounts of items that you need in the game without using the inventory menu. This is especially handy since using the inventory menu doesn’t pause the game. Access to any of 10 weapons (which is important since each weapon has specific pros/cons per enemy and situation), 10 potions, 10 spells, 10 accessories, etc., is within a 2-keystroke reach.
Third is the humor. Unepic drops pop culture references pretty much every time Daniel talks. The screencaps below better describe what to expect.
Some of the English translations feel odd, and there is text here and there that is untranslated (the game boasts of being 100% made in Spain), but I’m not holding these against a demo version.
There is also a bit of swearing and mature themes in the game, so this isn’t recommendable to kids, Castlevania fans or not.
Unepic is targeted to be done by September with the help of Francisco’s collaborators: Carol Sánchez Quiñones, Ricardo Peregrina Muñoz, and David Serra Alcaraz. Based on the demo’s polish and humor, Unepic could actually turn out to be quite an epic game.
Go play the Unepic demo. When the game eventually comes out, remember the words of Zeratul:
[Screenshots taken by author from Unepic demo version]